This microscope, created for consumers and schools, has a 3.5-inch LCD screen instead of the traditional eyepiece, and can use a 2-megapixel digital camera to take photos or video.
Logitech diNovo Mini
The Logitech diNovo Mini is the gizmo for that small, but growing, number of people who have connected their PC to a big flat panel television or have one of Microsoft's media center setups. It's a wireless keyboard that is small enough to sit unobtrusively on a coffee table, and that allows you to kick back on the couch and operate your PC, and what's on that big screen, remotely. This device connects to a PC (or PS3) via a Bluetooth USB adapter. A Mac version is in the works.
Added (13 October 2008, 8:25:04 Pm)
A group of researchers at the University of Washington have successfully developed a simple, intuitive piece of software for controlling computer applications using nothing but one’s voice. This means a person will be able to use his/her vocal chords to control the mouse, interacting with browsers as well as other programs without the need to go through prior training of any sort. More details are available after the jump.
Vocal Joystick detects sounds 100 times a second and instantaneously turns that sound into movement on the screen. Different vowel sounds dictate the direction: “ah,” “ee,” “aw” and “oo” and other sounds move the cursor one of eight directions. Users can transition smoothly from one vowel to another, and louder sounds make the cursor move faster. The sounds “k” and “ch” simulate clicking and releasing the mouse buttons. Versions of Vocal Joystick exist for browsing the Web, drawing on a screen, controlling a cursor and playing a video game. A version also exists for operating a robotic arm, and Bilmes believes the technology could be used to control an electronic wheelchair.
Existing substitutes for the handheld mouse include eye trackers, sip-and-puff devices and head-tracking systems. Each technology has drawbacks. Eye-tracking devices are expensive and require that the eye simultaneously take in information and control the cursor, which can cause confusion. Sip-and-puff joysticks held in the mouth must be spit out if the user wants to speak, and can be tiring. Head-tracking devices require neck movement and expensive hardware.
Vocal Joystick requires only a microphone, a computer with a standard sound card and a user who can produce vocal sounds.
“A lot of people ask: ‘Why don’t you just use speech recognition?’” Bilmes said. “It would be very slow to move a cursor using discrete commands like ‘move right’ or ‘go faster.’ The voice, however, is able to do continuous commands quickly and easily.” Early tests suggest that an experienced user of Vocal Joystick would have as much control as someone using a handheld device.